Today in Irish History: 29 December ___________________.

Constitution Day.

1766 – Richard Dawson, MP for Monaghan Borough, dies on this date. Before his death, his bank – Wilcox & Dawson of Dublin, which was established in 1747 – closes with debts thought to amount to £192,000.

1829 – Fr. John B. Bannon, Confederate Army Chaplain, is born in Co. Leitrim.

1864 – The National Association of Ireland is founded in Dublin, backed by the Catholic hierarchy and intended to foster cooperation with English radicals to promote disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

1876 – The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language is formed in Dublin.

1902 – Birth of Edward Pakenham, 6th Earl of Longford; theatrical producer and dramatist.

1920 – British generals attended a meeting of the Cabinet and predicted victory in Ireland by the spring. Dublin Castle’s Chief of Police agreed. “General Tudor said he thought that, in this area, in four months’ time the terror would be broken if there was no truce. The great hope of the extremists was a change of policy.”

1920 – British government sanctioned “official reprisals”. They were begun with the burning of seven houses in Midleton, County Cork in reprisal for IRA ambush earlier in the day.

1922 – Two Anti-Treaty men are executed by the Free State in Kilkenny.

1922 – A Free State foot patrol is ambushed by an IRA column near Castlegregory, County Kerry. Two soldiers are killed and two wounded. Their post in the village is burned. The National Army in Tralee threaten to execute four republican prisoners in reprisal but after a legal appeal their sentence is commuted to penal servitude.

1922 – There is a bomb planted at CID headquarters at Oriel House, Dublin. One Free State soldier is killed and two wounded in the explosion. Two civilians are also wounded.

1923 – Two republicans are executed in Kilkenny.

1932 – Eileen Desmond, Labour politician, is born in Kinsale, Co. Cork.

1937 – The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution. The constitution came into force on 29 December 1937 after having been passed by a national plebiscite the previous July. The Constitution is the second constitution of independent Ireland and replaced the Constitution of the Irish Free State. The constitution falls broadly within the liberal democratic tradition. It establishes an independent state based on a system of representative democracy and guarantees certain fundamental rights, along with a popularly elected president, a separation of powers and judicial review. The constitution may only be amended by referendum.

1997 – Secretary of State Mo Mowlam holds day-long crisis talks with security chiefs and prison officials amid renewed calls for her resignation and fears that breakaway loyalist and republican terror bosses will ruthlessly exploit any political vacuum.

1998 – Battered by gale-force winds and torrential rain, The Isle of Man ferry runs aground in Dublin Bay.

1998 – More than 12,000 families across the country face their fifth day of candle-light and cold meals as the painstaking process of repairing storm-damaged electricity lines drags on.

2000 – One of the coldest spells to grip the country in decades continues.

2001 – Singer Daniel O’Donnell is awarded an honorary MBE in the Queen’s honours list for his decades of service to the music industry. Fashion designer John Rocha is awarded a CBE.



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