Today in Irish History: 13 December …

1779 – British goods are boycotted in Ireland; armed Volunteers parade in College Green, Dublin in November and demand ‘a free trade or else’ (i.e. the removal of restrictions on Irish trade with the colonies). This demand is granted on this date.

1867 – An explosion at Clerkenwell gaol in London, intended to aid in the escape of two Fenians, causes several deaths and injuries.

1904 – Sir William McCrea, mathematician and astronomer, is born in Dublin.

1905 – Críostóir Mac Aonghusa, writer and promoter of the Irish language is born in Blackwater, Co. Offaly.

1918 – Last all-Ireland general election to the UK House of Commons.

1920: Two IRA officers, Michael McNamara and William Shanahan, were abducted and shot by British forces in Clare. Their bodies were found near Kilkee on 19 December.

1955 – Ireland admitted to UN.

1955 – Grace Gifford Plunkett, Irish patriot, dies.

1960 – Aer Lingus’ first jet, the Boeing 707 ‘St. Patrick’ makes its inaugural flight.

1989 – Attack on Derryard Checkpoint.

1997 – Over a thousand people take to the streets of Dublin in a theatrical spectacle called “Féile Fáilte” to protest racism, particularly against refugees.

1999 – Taoiseach Bertie Aherns addresses the historic inaugural plenary meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Armagh.

2000 – Crowds roaring their approval greet Bill and Hillary Clinton on stage at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, confirming the first couple’s enduring popularity in Northern Ireland.

2001 – Queen’s University honours Manchester United legend, George Best, with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to football.

2002 – For the eighth year, the only live Christmas crib in Ireland opens in the forecourt of the Mansion House on Dawson Street in Dublin. This year’s nativity scene features two llamas as well as the usual donkeys, calves, goats and sheep.

2002 – Rugby legend Mick Galwey receives an honorary degree from Trinity College in recognition of his services to Ireland, Munster and Shannon clubs.

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