#OTD in Irish History | 27 October:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Odhran. After serving as abbot of Meath, he journeyed to Scotland with St Columba to promote the faith and died at Iona. Odhran was the first Irish monk to die at Iona. He may have founded Latteragh Abbey in Tipperary and is considered the principal patron saint of Waterford.

1651 – Surrender of Limerick.

1673 – A proclamation declares the banishment of Catholic bishops and priests and the closure of religious houses and schools under Charles II’s reign.

1845 – Cork Examiner publishes Frederick Douglass speech on American Prejudice Against Colour – an address he delivered to a Cork audience 23 October – where he encouraged “the intelligence and humanity of the entire people of Ireland against” slavery.

1878 – Between 24 October and this date, Fenians propose a ‘New Departure’: an alliance with the Parnellites.

1905 – Birth in Dublin Bryan Walter Guinness. He was an heir to part of the Guinness family brewing fortune, lawyer, poet and novelist.

1914 – The British lose their first battleship of World War I: The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons) is sunk off Tory Island, north-west coast of Co Donegal, by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin. The loss was kept an official secret in Britain until 14 November 1918 (three days after the end of the war). The sinking was witnessed and photographed by passengers on RMS Olympic sister ship of RMS Titanic.

1919 – In accordance with a previous Decree of Dáil Éireann providing that Teachtaí (Members of the Irish Parliament) and officials should swear their allegiance to the Irish Republic the Teachtaí and Officials in attendance sign the Oath of Allegiance.

1947 – Death of actor and theatre producer, William Fay. Born in Dublin, he was one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre.

1969 – Birth of Peter Emmanuel O’Meara in Co Tipperary. He is an award-winning actor, comic and composer. Lauded for his work on the London stage he came to the screen in the groundbreaking HBO series Band of Brothers, playing 1st Lt Norman Dike. He garnered a popular following on USA TV series Peacemakers as Det Larimer Finch bringing the science of the future to the old west opposite Tom Berenger as Marshall Jared Stone.

1971 – David Tilbury (29) and Angus Stevens (18), both members of the British Army, were killed by the IRA during an attack on their observation post in Rosemount, Co Derry.

1971 – RUC officer, Ronald Dodds (34), was shot dead by the IRA near Toome, Co Antrim.

1971 – David Powell (22), a member of the British Army, was killed by a landmine planted by the IRA at Kinawley, Co Fermanagh.

1971 – Gerard Newe, was appointed as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Department at Stormont. He was the first Catholic to serve in any Northern Ireland government since 1920 and was appointed by Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner. Newe was appointed to try to improve community relations.

1976 – New IR£5 note issued bearing image of mediaeval Irish philosopher, Johannes Scotus Eriugena.

1980 – Seven Republican prisoners began a hunger-strike to protest at the ending of special category status. One of their key demands was that they should be allowed to wear their own clothes rather than prison uniforms. The Republican prisoners viewed themselves as ‘prisoners of war’ and were refusing to be treated, as they saw it, as ordinary criminals. The tactic of the hunger strike has a special place in Republican history and it was to have a profound affect on Nationalists in Northern Ireland. This particular strike was to be called off on 18 December 1980. However, it also marked an escalation of the campaign which was to see a larger more serious hunger strike take place in 1981.

1982 – Three RUC officers were killed when the IRA detonated a land mine as the RUC patrol passed near Lurgan, Co Armagh, as they went to investigate a robbery.

1994 – The European Parliament proposed that the European Union should provide £40 million to the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

1996 – An article in The Observer on the financing of the IRA, claimed that the IRA was obtaining funds by smuggling tobacco products and producing pirate versions of video tapes.

1998 – 200 delegates of the 24,000-strong INO (nurse’s union) vote unanimously to reactivate industrial action if their claims are not met.

1999 – Ed Moloney, Northern editor of the Sunday Tribune, won his legal battle against a judge’s decision ordering him to hand over his interview notes with loyalist paramilitary, William Stobie. Stobie had been charged with murdering Pat Finucane, a Belfast solicitor killed on 12 February 1989. Costs, estimated at £160,000, were awarded to the newspaper.

1999 – Fifty bar workers are to sue their bosses in the first smoking related personal injury claim in the history of the State.

1999 – NUI Galway marks its 150th anniversary.

2000 – The IRA says that the re-examination of a number of its arms dumps by the international inspectors has already taken place

2002 – Severe storm batters Ireland causing power cuts and interruptions in road, rail, air and sea transport services.

2002 – After comments by British prime minister Tony Blair that the continued existence of the IRA is an obstacle to rescuing the peace process, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says the IRA is never going to disband in response to ultimatums.

2013 – Death of Fianna Fáil politician, Noel Davern. Born in Cashel, Co Tipperary, he was a Teachta Dála (TD) for Tipperary South from 1969 to 1981 and from 1987 until he retired from politics at the 2007 general election. He was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1979 to 1984, and served as Minister for Education from 1991 to 1992.

2017 – The gates at Milltown Cemetery were set on fire in an act of arson; with youths in the area responsible, according to local representatives. Parents of young people in west Belfast have been called upon to intervene.

2017 – Death of Irish medieval historian, Donnchadh Ó Corráin. He was a Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at University College Cork. He was an early Irish and mediaeval historian and published on the Viking Wars, Ireland in the pre-Hiberno-Norman period and the origin of Irish language names. In addition to his position at UCC, he held academic positions at University College Dublin, Cambridge University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Oslo and Oxford University, where he was a Fellow of Balliol College.

Image | Kinsale, Co Cork | @mclwng

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