In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the Holy Innocents and, in Irish folklore, it was very unlucky to start something new. It was also believed that whichever day of the week the feast fell, that day would be unlucky throughout the following year.
1673 – Birth of Marmaduke Coghill, lawyer, judge and MP.
1795 – Lord Gosford, Governor of Armagh declares the Orange Order a “lawless banditti”. He said, “It is no secret that a persecution is now raging in this country… the only crime is… profession of the Roman Catholic faith. Lawless banditti (Orange Order ) have constituted themselves judges…”.
1836 – Death of United Irishman, Lawyer and author, William Sampson, in New York.
1880 – The trial of Parnell and others for conspiracy begins on this date.
1883 – St John Greer Ervine, playwright, author, critic and manager of the Abbey Theatre from 1915 to 1916, is born in Belfast.
1891: Death of Painter and Artist Augustus Nicholas Burke.
1918 – Constance Markiewicz while detained in Holloway prison, became the first woman to be elected MP to the British House of Commons.
1922 – Republican Francis Lawlor is abducted by Free State forces in Dublin, killed and his body dumped at Orwell Road, Rathgar.
1997 – The British government orders the deployment of the SAS in Mid-Ulster in a bid to thwart another Loyalist Volunteer Force outrage as IRA commanders in Tyrone meet in emergency session in an effort to keep the lid on the Provo ceasefire.
2000 – Heavy snow and freezing temperatures are reported throughout the country. The heaviest snowfall in 18 years brings chaos to the North.