Today in Irish History: 16 December …

1653 – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of Ireland.

1689 – Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights. The English Convention (1689) was an irregular assembly of the Parliament of England which transferred the Crowns of England and Ireland from James II to William III. It differed from the English Convention (1660) in that it did not unconditionally restore the rightful and lawful monarch, but chose to justify the deposing of that monarch in favour of another, and also sought to introduce new laws and arrangements into the constitution.

1780 – John Beresford is appointed Chief Commissioner of Revenue. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners (RC), (Oifig na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim) – now called simply Revenue – is the Irish Government agency responsible for customs, excise, taxation and related matters. Though Revenue can trace itself back to predecessors (with the Act of Union 1800 amalgamating its forerunners with HM Customs and Excise in the United Kingdom), the current organisation was created for the independent Irish Free State in 21 February 1923. Revenue was established by Revenue Commissioners Order, 1923 and is responsible to the Minister for Finance and was for many years referred to as the Revenue Commissioners. Revenue consists of a Chairman and two Commissioners all of whom have the status of Secretary General as used in Departments of State. The first Commissioners, appointed by W. T. Cosgrave, were Charles J. Flynn, William Denis Carey and William T. O’Brien, the chairman. The current Commissioners are: Chairman Josephine Feehily, and Commissioner Michael O’Grady. Additionally there are approximately 7,000 full-time equivalent staff. Revenue is based in Dublin Castle and uses a symbol of its gates as its logo, while its staff of almost 7,000 work in almost all of the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. The motto of Revenue translates as “to serve the community by fairly and efficiently collecting taxes and duties and implementing Customs controls”. From April 1979 until June 2000 Revenue had control of the issue of the Personal Public Service Number (then referred to as Revenue and Social Insurance Number) to individuals. In 1991 it delegated a block of numbers to the Department of Social Welfare and on 19 June 2000 the issuing was transferred to the department entirely.

1838 – John Gubbins, racehorse owner and breeder, is born in Kilfrush, Co. Limerick.

1920 – IRA fighters ambushed British troops at Kilcommon Cross, north Tipperary. Four British soldiers were killed and three wounded.

1920 – ‘The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence. The purpose of the ACRI was “to devise and consider ways and means of relieving the acute distress due to the recent (1920) occurrences in that country.”

1921 – Anglo-Irish Treaty is passed in the British House of Commons (401 support, 58 oppose) and House of Lords (166 support, 47 oppose).

1922 – Civil War:

-The Free State post in Carrickonshannon is attacked and taken by anti-Treaty fighters. One FS soldier and one civilian, are killed. Four Lorries and a large quantity of arms are taken.

-Two anti-Treaty fighters are killed in County Carlow.

-A civilian Eric Wolfe, is taken from his trap by unknown gunmen near Kinsale, Cork and killed by multiple gunshots.

-Free State troops come upon what they describe ass a ‘large body of Irregulars’ near Ballingarry, County Tipperary. They report that two killed and eleven taken prisoner, with two of their troops wounded.

-Free State troops near Carrick On Suir shoot dead a civilian, Patrick Martin, who approaches them with a revolver.

1922 – Arthur Griffith and his ministers assume seat of government at Dublin Castle.

1939 – Barney McKenna of the Dubliners is born.

1969 – Swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michelle de Bruin (née Smith) is born in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.

1971 – Soldier and politician General Richard Mulcahy dies in Dublin.

1979 – Four British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA landmine near Dungannon, County Tyrone. Another British Army soldier was killed by a PIRA landmine near Forkill, County Armagh.

1987 – Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl reaches no. 2 in the British charts.

1997 – Tom Parlon is elected President of the Irish Farmers’ Association.

1998 – More than 250 guests pay tribute to Gay Byrne at a surprise farewell party.

1999 – Padraic Wilson, a senior republican tipped to represent the IRA in disarmament talks, is given an early release from Northern Ireland’s top security Maze Prison.

2002 – The 15 European Union Agriculture Ministers begin talks on the future of EU fish quotas amid calls for the toughest cutbacks ever.



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