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1770 - James Smyth, MP for Dundalk, is killed in a riding accident
1798 - Rebel southern column marches through Sculloge Gap, into Co. Carlow. Rebel northern column marches to camp at Croghan
1798 - Execution of John Kelly, also known as 'Kelly of Killane'
1866 - Archbishop Cullen becomes the first Irishman elevated to Cardinal
1921 - First Ulster parliament, led by Sir James Craig, is formally opened by King George V, who appeals for peace
1922 - Longford-born Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson is shot and killed by the IRA on the steps of his home in London (link to Wild Geese)
1930 - Sir Hugh Annesley - RUC Chief Constable - is born in Dublin
1932 - Eucharistic Congress in Dublin begins. The high point is when over a million people gather for Mass in Phoenix Park
1940 - The last tram to Donnybrook, Dublin leaves
1959 - Birth of Michael Kinane - jockey - in Killenaule, Co. Tipperary
1973 - Hilton Edwards and Dr. Micheál Mac Liammóir are given the Freedom of the city of Dublin
1997 - Orange parades pass off quietly amid growing fears of a further stand-off at Drumcree
1998 - An urgent appeal is made to Ireland's drivers to slow down after eight young people lose their lives in a black weekend on the country's roads
2002 - U2's Edge marries longtime girlfriend Morleigh Steinberg in a Jewish ceremony at the Garden of Eze in the south of France. Bono is the best man.
1704 - The Registration Act comes into force requiring all Catholic priests in Ireland to register in court, to furnish two £50 bonds for good behaviour, and not to leave the county in which they are registered
1777 - William Brown, founder of the Argentine navy, is born in Foxford, Co. Mayo
1798 - Rebel southern column captures Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny and camps at Bunreagh; Rebel northern column moves into Wicklow Mountains and camps at Ballymanus
1802 - Daniel O'Connell secretly marries his cousin, Mary O'Connell
1825 - Annie French Hector, novelist who wrote under the pseudonym Mrs. Alexander, is born in Dublin. Highly successful novelist with 40 books including the Wooing of Ot (1873), and Blind Fate (1891); A Choice of Evils (1895), and Kitty Costello, semi-autobiographical (1902)
1838 - Sir James Gildea, philanthropist and co-founder of St. John Ambulance Association, is born in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo
1939 - Dáil Éireann introduces internment
1945 - Sean O'Ceallaigh is inaugurated as President of Ireland
1959 - Seán Lemass becomes Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil
1985 - An Air India Boeing 747 from Toronto crashes off the Irish coast, killing all 329 people aboard in the world's worst commercial air disaster at sea
1986 - Northern Ireland Assembly is dissolved. Police baton-charge 200 loyalist protesters outside Stormont
1998 - President Mary McAleese meets President Bill Clinton for the first time in the Oval Office; he promises that the US will remain engaged in the North peace process
Today is the eve of St. John's Feastday; it is also Mid Summer's Eve - an ancient solar feast celebrated with bonfires throughout the Celtic lands.
1754 - Death of Robin Downes. Thomas Waite writes: Yesterday morning Robin Downes, member for Kildare, was found in his parlour in his house in Dawson Street with a sword run through his body. There are hopes of his recovery. He himself says ... that he received the wound in a fair duel ... but the general opinion seems to be that he transfixed himself, though no one pretends to assign the reason. My Lord Kildare is come to town in vast agitation at this accident
1798 - Rebel southern column captures Castlecomber, Co Kilkenny and camp at Slatt, in Co Laois
1850 - Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum; soldier and statesman, is born in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry
1874 - Birth of Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh, Irish author, feminist and language activist
1876 - Birth of Forrest Reid in Belfast. He was a novelist, critic, and autobiographer. He became a distinguished book and print collector, eventually writing a definitive work on the book of illustrators of the 1860s
1987: U2 plays Belfast for the first time since 1982
In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the feast of St. John.
1731 - The Dublin Society for Improving Husbandry, (later to become the Royal Dublin Society on June 19, 1820), is founded on this date
1783 - The Bank of Ireland is established in Dublin, by Royal charter. It issues its first notes, and opens to the public on this date; the Irish pound is worth £12/13 sterling
1798 - Northern column fails to take Hacketstown, Co. Carlow and returns to camp at Croghan. Southern column marches from Slatt, to camp at Kilcumney Hill, Co. Carlow
1870 - Erskine Childers, novelist, member of the Royal Navy, and later an Irish nationalist, is born in London. He is famous for the classic spy yarn "The Riddle Of The Sands." For more on his life, please click The Wild Geese
1891 - Charles Stewart Parnell married Katherine O'Shea in England
1938 - Dr. Douglas Hyde inaugurated as first President of Ireland; Seán T O'Ceallaigh, Eamon de Valera and Erskine Childers were all installed on the same day in 1945, 1959 and 1973 respectively
1939 - Garech A Brún, founder of Claddagh Records, music publisher and world-traveller, is born in Glenmaroon, Chapelizod, Co. Dublin. Samuel Beckett, Robert Graves, Patrick Kavanagh and the Chieftains, which he founded, feature among Claddagh's diverse recordings
1950 - Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, writer, drowns while swimming off Co. Galway. He was born on the Great Blasket Island off Co, Kerry in 1904. The English scholar George Thomson, who visited the island for the first time in 1923, encouraged Muiris to write. His book "Fiche Bliain ag Fás" describes his early life on the Great Blasket. In 1933-1934(?), it was translated into English as "Twenty Years A-Growing" the same year it was published in Irish. It was later published into many other languages and has been acclaimed by international critics as a jewel of Irish culture
1970 - Restrictions on Catholics attending Trinity College removed
1992 - Joan Denise Moriarty, ballet composer, choreographer and founder of the Irish National Ballet, dies. During her career, she choreographed over 100 original works, drawing on themes from Irish mythology and legend, fusing traditional dance forms with ballet. Her aim was to create an original Irish form of this European art
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feastday of St. Moluag of Lismore.
1657 - 'Act for Convicting, Discovering and Repressing of Popish Recusants' is passed
1782 - The Relief Act gives Catholics rights concerning their education
1798 - Southern column is surprised by Government forces on Kilcumney Hill. They are defeated and decide to disperse. Many men return home but some decide to try and rejoin northern column at Croghan. Northern column remains in camp at Croghan.
1824 - Physicist and mathematician, Sir William Thomson, first Baron Kelvin of Largs, is born in College Square East, Belfast
1846 - England repeals the Corn Laws. The Corn Law Act had been passed in 1815 as a measure to protect the interests of landowners who looked as if they were about to lose out when highly inflated prices for corn ceased with the ending of the Napoleonic Wars. This kept the price of not only corn but also bread artificially high. Although an Anti-Corn Law League formed to oppose the legislation, it was not until the potato famine in Ireland that repeal was enacted in a belated attempt to alleviate some of the suffering
1887 - 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius), the highest temperature in Ireland since records began, was recorded at Kilkenny Castle
1891 - Wedding of Charles Stewart Parnell to Kitty OShea
1963 - President John F. Kennedy begins his state visit to Ireland
1981 - Garret FitzGerald succeeds Haughey as Taoiseach
1986 - After a bitter campaign, the referendum to legalize divorce is defeated, 63.1 percent to 36.3 per cent
1991 - The convictions of the Maguire Seven are quashed
1996 - Journalist Veronica Guerin is murdered in Dublin
2000 - The IRA makes a major symbolic break with the past by disclosing that for the first time, it has opened up its arsenal of guns and bombs to outside inspection
2001 - Paintings valued at more than £3,000,000 are stolen from Russborough House in Co. Wicklow.
1488 - Sir Richard Edgecombe is sent to Ireland with power to grant pardons; he lands at Kinsale on this date
1782 - The Relief Act gives Catholics rights concerning their education
1798 - Northern column remains in camp at Croghan
1846 - Irish statesman, Charles Stewart Parnell, is born
1864 - Charles Joly, astronomer, is born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly
1870 - Eibhlín Bean Uí Choisdeailbh, Irish language folk-song collector is born
1922 - Marie Kean, actress, is born in Rush, Co. Dublin
1987 - U2 returns to Dublin's Croke Park for the first time in two years; U2's set-list appropriately includes "A Sort of Homecoming"
2001 - The golden eagle lands in Ireland for the first time in nearly a century. Six chicks of the bird-of-prey arrive in Co. Donegal from the Scottish Highlands at the start of a programme to re-introduce a species that became extinct in 1912
2000 - More than 2,000 troops are flown into Northern Ireland to reinforce security ahead of the marching season
2001 - Passing of former Labour deputy Michael Moynihan. The 84-year-old was a TD for Kerry South during the 1980s and early 1990s. He also served as a Minister of State at the Department of Trade, Commerce and Tourism.
2007 - Ireland elects its first black mayor
A Nigerian man who came to Ireland in 2000 to seek asylum in Ireland makes history by becoming Ireland's first black mayor. 43-year-old Councillor Rotimi Adebari is elected the Mayor of Portlaoise Town Council by a vote of six to three and with the support of Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Independent members of the council. At a meeting attended by officials from the Nigerian, South African and the United States embassies, the new mayor is quoted as saying his election was proof that “Ireland is not just a country of a thousand welcomes but it is a country of equal opportunity.”
1798 - General Hunter, who replaced Lake as Commander in Wexford, becomes aware rebellion is not over and begins to re-deploy his troops. He orders General Duff to Bunclody and General Needham to Gorey
1853 - The introduction of income tax in Ireland is proposed for the first time
1861 - Explorer Robert Burke, from Co. Galway, dies in Australia
1920 - On hearing of British atrocities in Ireland, soldiers of the Connaught Rangers mutiny in protest; three are shot dead; a fourth - Private James Daly - is court-martialled and executed by firing squad. He is the last member of the British army to be executed for mutiny
1922 - The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State bombards the Four Courts in Dublin, and the Civil War begins
1939 - Pan American's Yankee Clipper lands at Foynes Flying Boat Base and inaugurates first scheduled airmail service
1985 - While rehearsing for their homecoming show the following day, U2 is forced to stop when they learn their volume is so loud at Croke Park, they have disturbed students taking exams at a school a half-mile away
1999 - It is announced by Bord Gais that the freeze on gas prices put into effect in 1984 will remain until at least 2003
2000 - Over budget and deeply in debt, the departure of millennium ship, Jeanie Johnston, is further postponed
2001 - Following the collapse of the British-based Independent Insurance company, it is predicted that thousands of Irish companies will lose upwards of £160m
2002 - Bronze Age burial pit is unearthed by students in Longford.
2010: Paisley 'drawn and hung' at Stormont
Irish artist David Nolan unveils his portrait of the former firebrand DUP leader. First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams are among the guests joining the Paisley family at the unveiling ceremony. Admiring the latest portrait - in which he is wearing his trademark hat - he is quoted as saying "It is excellent. It is sharp. It is to the point. It is just myself."
1771 - Birth of Edward Newell, United Irishman and informer, in Downpatrick, Co. Down
1820 - The Dublin Society becomes the Royal Dublin Society
1820 - Robert Jocelyn, 2nd Earl Roden, former MP for Dundalk and a leader of the Orange Order, is alleged to have led an attack on Catholic homes in Dundalk. He is struck off the Commission of the Peace and ordered to be brought to trial, but flees to Edinburgh, where he dies suddenly on this date
1848 - A gunfight takes place between Young Ireland Rebels and police at Widow McCormack's house in Ballingarry, Tipperary
1915 - Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossna, Fenian leader, dies in the U.S.
1916 - Roger Casement is convicted of treason and sentenced to death
1920 - In response to Anglo-Irish anxiety concerning their role in a future Ireland, the Dáil Éireann issues a resolution endeavoring to stem land-grabbing and to shift focus to clearing out the foreign invader
1924 - Joss Lynam, mountaineer, is born in London
1944 - Seán Doherty, Fianna Fáil politician, is born in Co. Roscommon
1985 - Máire Ni Scolai, Irish language singer, dies
1969 - Ireland enacts exemption from income tax for creators of works of 'cultural or artistic merit'
1998 - Northern Ireland braces braced violent conflict after irate Orangemen vow not to recognise a Parades Commission order banning them from marching along the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown
1999 - The political parties in the North inch their way towards a deadlock-breaking peace deal to rescue the Good Friday Agreement based on Sinn Féins acceptance of a timetable for arms decommissioning
2000 - The Western Health Board launches a campaign to reduce smoking in pubs
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Peter & Paul.
1691 - The fall of Athlone. Despite the bravery of legendary Sergeant Custume and others, severely outnumbered, the Connacht side of the town fell. The remainder of the Irish garrison retreats to Limerick
1790 - Birth in Knockfin, Co. Laois of Arthur Jacob - noted oculist and Professor of Anatomy in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin
1798 - Rebels break camp, Needham sends Cavalry to pursue them. The rebels ambush cavalry at Ballyellis and inflict heavy defeat on them. By evening rebels are camped at Kilcavan
1835 - Sir Samuel McCaughey, who is destined to become a sheep tycoon in Australia, is born near Ballymena, Co. Antrim
1922 - The Four Courts, Dublin, are abandoned by Anti-Treaty forces after a two-day bombardment
1932 - De Valera abolishes the oath of allegiance and withholds land annuities from the British Government
1941 - Stephen Hayes, a former IRA chief of staff, is kidnapped; he later claims to have been 'court martialled' and tortured by the IRA; Seán McCaughey is later convicted of his kidnapping
1981 - Garret Fitzgerald replaces Charles Haughey as Taoiseach
2000 - Breakaway republicans are held responsible for an explosion which halts all cross border rail services
2001 - David Trimble resigns as Northern Ireland First Minister.
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.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017
The Round Towers
The Round Towers of Ireland are remarkable among the world's ancient monuments; one author has called them 'Elegant, free-standing pencils of stone.' Today, 65 survive in part or whole. Hand-crafted in native stone and cemented with a sand, lime, horsehair and oxblood mortar - a technique imported from Roman Britain - it's said by many historians that they were built by monastic communities to thwart Viking invaders. And yet, there's reason to believe that the towers were built long before Christianity came to Ireland. Whatever their origins, monasteries did indeed flourish where the round towers existed. And why not. These imposing edifices provided a watch tower, a keep and a refuge.
Image: By kind permission of Stephen Cassidy, The Cassidy Clan.
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