Today in Irish History: 26 December __________________.

In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast of St. Stephen. (A public holiday in Ireland, Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Italy.)

Wren day in Ireland and the Isle of Man.

1381 – The sudden death of Edmund Mortimer at Cork leaves the colony without effective leadership and prompts a military crisis.

1820 – Dion Boucicault, dramatist and actor, is born in Dublin.

1823 – John Cairnes, economist, is born in Castle Bellingham, Co. Louth.

1883 – The Harbour Grace Affray between Irish Catholics and Protestant Orangemen causes five deaths in Newfoundland.

1950 – James Stephens, writer, dies.

1961 – Birth of Irish actor, John Lynch, in Corrinshego in County Armagh.

1997 – St. Stephen’s Day fox hunts are marked by major animal welfare protests with Gardaí forced to separate hunt supporters and animal welfare activists.

1998 – Thousands of homes and businesses in the northern half of the country are without electricity as hurricane-force gales and gusts of over 100 miles per hour send poles crashing to the ground and entangle wires in fallen trees. Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal are the worst affected counties.

1998 – Former IRA Chief of Staff, Cathal Goulding, dies in a Dublin hospital.

1999 – Hundreds of people walk through the Glen of the Downs in a show of solidarity with eco warriors, despite a Government order closing off the nature reserve to the public.

2001 – Politicians from all parties join in mourning the passing of Mark Clinton, who was a major figure in Irish public life over three decades. Mr. Clinton died peacefully at Lucan Lodge Nursing Home, in Lucan, Co Dublin, on December 23, after a lengthy illness.

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