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1881 - William Pearse, brother of Patrick, is born in Dublin
1923 - Birth of Tom Clifford, rugby player, in Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary
1945 - Petrol for private cars goes on sale in the State again for the first time since before the War
1968 - Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) retires its last dray horse
1985 - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough Castle. It is considered to represent the most significant development in the relationships between Britain and Ireland since the partition settlement in 1920. The Agreement is an international treaty lodged at the United Nations and supported by the House of Commons and Dáil Éireann
1998 - Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrates her 104th birthday with news that she is to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records. Earlier this year, Bridget received an honorary Master of Arts degree from NUI Galway which makes her the oldest person in the world to be awarded a degree
1999 - Gardaí order the cancellation of a lecture by British revisionist historian David Irving after 600 anti-fascists stage a protest at the University of Cork
2000 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is placed in a political minefield on the abortion issue as a Dáil committee fails to agree on the way forward. He now faces demands from the four Independents to hold a referendum on the issue
2000 - The Northern peace process is plunged into crisis when Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams announces the party will mount a legal challenge to David Trimbles ban on its ministers attending North South meetings
2001 - Jacob's Bakery celebrates its 150th anniversary with the launch of a book detailing its history, "Jacob's Bakery - Limited Twiglets." The author, Séamas O´ Maitiú, jokes that the working title was Quaker Bakers go Crackers. The famous bakery was founded in 1851 by two Quaker brothers from Waterford, William and Rober Jacob
2002 - The number of people on waiting lists for local authority houses is set to soar following government spending cutbacks. Fresh figures show the number of applicants waiting for social housing has reached 50,000 - a 25% increase in just three years
2005 - The only remaining medal from the first All-Ireland, one of the rarest pieces of GAA memorabilia goes up for auction at Sotheby's in London.
1272 - Henry III dies; his son Edward I, who has been Lord of Ireland since 1254, succeeds him
1754 - Birth in Verval, Co. Wicklow of William Marsden, orientalist, Malayan scholar and numismatist
1793 - Francis Danby, landscape painter, is born near Killinick, Co. Wexford
1814 - Michael Kelly Lawler, general in the Union army during the American Civil War, is born in Co. Kildare
1816 - Benjamin Woodward, architect, is born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly
1893 - Death of George A. Osborne, Irish composer, organist and director of the Royal Academy of Music
1939 - Birth of Luke Kelly of the Dubliners
1965 - Death of William Thomas Cosgrave, first President of the Irish Free State
1999 - In Lismore, Co. Waterford, a tradition stretching back almost 130 years passes away as the last remaining Christian Brother Patrick Ryan turns the key on the front door of the monastery for the final time; the order has had an uninterrupted presence in the town since 1871
2000 - Furious taxi drivers have to be restrained from protesting outside Leinster House following reports that the Government is poised to completely deregulate the industry
2000 - In the largest class of graduates since the BSN degree was introduced in 1997, more than 50 nurses are presented their diplomas at the Royal College of Surgeons
2000 - Dr Therese Kinsella, a senior lecturer at University College Dublin becomes the first woman to receive the prestigious Royal Irish Academy Medal in Biochemistry
2001 - American ambassador Richard Egan is presented with a book of condolences compiled from IrishExaminer.com since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in NYC
2002 - Niall Quinn is chosen as Man of the Year at the 28th annual People of the Year awards. A special one-off award to mark the 75th anniversary of the ESB is made to Dr TK Whitaker who is named Greatest Living Irish Person for his role in transforming the Irish economy in the 1950s.
1814 - Joseph Finegan, a Confederate general in the American Civil War, is born in Clones, Co. Monaghhan
Photo Credit: Florida State Archives Photographic Collection
1922 - The Irish Free State begins the executions of seventy-seven anti-Treaty republican prisoners
1852 - Donegal-born Brigadier Michael Corcoran's Irish Legion is mustered into the Federal service; it is involved in the defense of Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Mrs. Danforth's Pages
Mrs. Danforth is a great-great niece of Michael Corcoran
1930 - The first Irish Hospital Sweepstakes draw takes place; three Belfast men share a prize of £208,792
1994 - Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is forced to resign
1999 - Christian churches reject idea of elections on the sabbath day as a means of trying to increase voter turnout
1999 - The owners of the first cars to be called for inspection under the new National Car Test receive notification in the post
2001 - An £8.5 million annual pay deal for local politicians is to be finalised before Christmas, giving them a salary for the first time.
1703 - On 18 November the Commons hears a petition from Sir Kildare Dixon Burrowes, John Allen, Robert Dixon, Francis Spring, Alexander Gradon (all MPs) and 'other inhabitants of the County of Kildare complaining, that the inhabitants of the said County have been under great oppressions and grievances by the exorbitant power of Maurice [another MP], John and Francis Annesley, Esqrs, Justices of the Peace'. Shortly before this, the burgesses and freemen of Naas have also complained about the activities of the Annesleys. The allegations against Maurice and Francis are found not to be proved, but John is found to have illegally extorted money under cover of warrants and fees and is removed as sheriff
1709 - Birth of Henry Loftus, Earl of Ely and 4th Viscount; politician and proprietor of several boroughs
1873 - A three-day conference begins in Dublin to establish the Home Rule League. It will supersede Isaac Butt's Home Government Association
1880 - An historic meeting takes place at Queens Hotel, Belfast which will have far reaching effects on the administration of football in Ireland. At what is, in effect, the inaugural meeting of the Irish Football Association, the IFA elects its first President, Major Spencer Chichester and agrees to stage an annual Challenge Cup Competition
Photo Credit: Official IFA website
1899 - Death of William Allingham, poet
1922 - Court martial of Erskine Childers begins
1926 George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept the Nobel Prize money of £7,000 awarded to him a year earlier. He said: "I can forgive Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize."
1960 - The first Aer Lingus Boeing jet Padraig arrives at Dublin Airport
1999 - Former US senator George Mitchell makes his final report into the Good Friday Agreement; he urges the IRA to appoint its representative to discuss disarmament on the same day the new power-sharing government is set up
Photo Credit: Paul Faith
2000 - Ensign Marie Gleeson of Cashel becomes the first female cadet to capture the prestigious Fastnet Trophy. The award is given to the cadet who achieves first place in his or her class
2002 - The Belfast High Court is told that Sinn Féin's administration office manager at Stormont, Denis Donaldson, is an active member of the IRA's intelligence unit with connections to terrorist groups in Europe and in El Salvador.
1783 - The Volunteers' parliamentary reform bill is rejected by the Irish House of Commons, 157 to 77
1798 - Theobald Wolfe Tone dies from a stab wound to his neck which he inflicted upon himself on November 12; his attempted suicide is the result of being refused a soldier's execution by firing squad and being sentenced to death by hanging
1821 - 17 people are burned to death in a house in Tubber, Co. Tipperary, probably by 'Rockite' agitators
1871 - Margaret Emmeline Conway Dobbs, Irish historian, language activist and defender of Roger Casement, is born
1900 - Birth of Pamela Hinkson, daughter of Katharine Tynan; she's best known for her novel "The Ladies Road" which sold over 100,000 copies in the Penguin edition
1913 - Irish Citizen Army is formed
1924 - Death in Ara Coeli, Armagh, of Cardinal Michael Logue, Primate of All Ireland
1944 - Denis Brosnan, managing director of Kerry Group, is born in Tralee
1954 - First performance of Brendan Behans The Quare Fellow at the Pike Theatre in Dublin
1957 - Affectionately known as "Jacko", Jack O'Shea, Kerry Gaelic footballer, is born in Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry
1998 - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Mary Robinson, is elected as chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. Dr Robinson is the first woman in the college's history to be appointed to the position, making her the head of the University of Dublin of which Trinity College is the sole constituent
1999 - The life of eighty-five year old Eamon Kelly is celebrated at a banquet in his honour held at the Listowel Arms Hotel in Co. Kerry. Among the 250 guests are John B. Keane, Barry McGovern, Niall Toibin and Frances Black
2001 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announces that low-cost airlines will have a dedicated wing at Dublin Airport in 18 months; Aer Rianta is told to drop airport charges to attract tourists into the country.
1762 - Francis Andrews is appointed first professor of history at the University of Dublin
1719 - Spranger Barry, actor, is born in Skinner's Row (Christ Church Place) Dublin
1800 - Richard Rothwell, painter, is born in Athlone, Co. Westmeath
1830 - Birth of Patrick Henry Jones, Union General from Co. Meath
1840 - Birth of John Russell Young, journalist in American Civil War, from Co. Tyrone
1889 - Donn Byrne (real name Brian Donn-Byrne) novelist and short-story writer, is born in Brooklyn, New York of Irish parents
1908 - Birth of Alistair Cooke who describes himself as a "Lancastrian Irishman" - his mother was from Co. Sligo
1917 - The 16th Irish Division of the British army assaults an area of the German lines known as Tunnel Trench
1925 - Eoin MacNeill resigns from the Boundary Commission
1998 - An historic union between Labour and Democratic Left is agreed. Unveiled by the two top negotiators, Labour's deputy leader Brendan Howlin and DL Deputy Eamon Gilmore, the merger proposal will go before Labour's General Council and DL's Executive for ratification
2000 - Three Galway pubs are prosecuted by the Director of Consumer Affairs for failing to display correct price lists, in the first ever such prosecutions brought under new Retail Price Display regulations
2001 - Cash-strapped Aer Lingus auctions its collection of paintings. Most money went on "By Merrion Strand" by Jack B. Yeats, an oil on canvas, which is sold for £290,000
2002 - The last surviving member of the recruits which founded the Garda Síochána is laid to rest. Galway-born Charlie Clarke, who spent most of his career in Dublin, celebrated his 100th birthday last summer.
1281 - Stephen de Fulbourne, bishop of Waterford and treasurer, replaces the infirm Robert de Ufford as justiciar and establishes a mint at Waterford
1759 - Henry Flood enters parliament and becomes leader of the opposition
1767 - United Irishman Thomas Russell is born in Kilshanick, Co. Cork. Although born in the Rebel County, he is now identified in the popular imagination of Co. Down and elsewhere as "The man from God-knows-where", from the ballad which recalls his charismatic but doomed efforts to raise the county in support of Robert Emmets rebellion of 1803
1887 - Joseph Mary Plunkett, Irish patriot and poet, is born in Dublin
1918 - The Parliament (Qualifications of Women) Act entitles women to sit and vote in the house of commons
1920 - On the morning of this date, 14 British intelligence officers are shot dead in Dublin by Michael Collins' men. In the afternoon, at a GAA match in Croke Park, Dublin, between Tipperary and Dublin, 12 civilians including one of the players die after Black & Tans open fire; auxiliaries kill three prisoners, including two IRA men, in Dublin that night; the date becomes infamously known as 'Bloody Sunday'
1929 - Birth in Cork of stage, television and film actor Niall Toibin
Photo Credit: Official Niall Toibin website
1952 - Birth in Dublin of middle distance runner and former World Champion Eamon Coghlan
1974 - Bombs believe planted by the Provisional IRA devastate two central Birmingham pubs, killing 19 people and injuring over 180
1999 - Victims of Birmingham IRA bombings are remembered in a 25th anniversary service at St. Philips Cathedral
1999 - President Mary McAleese pays a warm tribute to former President Dr Erskine Childers on the 25th anniversary of his death. Speaking at Derralossary Cemetery, Co. Wicklow, Mrs McAleese describes Dr Childers as a pivotal figure in politics for more than 35 years.
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.
Sun, Apr 12, 2015
Called whin in the north and gorse in the east, furze was once a symbol of wealth and fertility of land as is emphasized by the saying: "gold under furze, silver under rushes and famine under heather."
As indigenous to the early summer landscape as rhododendrons, it is despised by farmers because of its invasive properties; but in the past, it had many good uses.
It ignites quickly, so it was used for starting the fire: it was also used for cleaning the chimney, tilling the soil, dyeing wool and fabric, and as a flavouring for whiskey (which may have improved its rating with the farmers!). It had medicinal powers and its magical powers were undisputed in preventing the good people from stealing the butter on May day. And, at mid-summer, blazing branches were carried round the herd to bring good health to the cows for the coming year.
Resources: Doon Mayo
and Farmers Journal
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
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