Today in Irish History: 14 January _________________.

1753 – Death of George Berkeley, Irish philosopher and Anglican.

1775 – John Hely-Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College, fights a duel with William Doyle over abusive newspaper articles. Doyle is ill and has to lean on a crutch at the duel; on being challenged he had initially complained of sore eyes, and ‘objected to stand merely to be shot at, without the power of retaliation’. Neither party is injured. One of the Provost’s sons wishes to fight a further duel with Doyle, but the authorities prevent this; they then go abroad and hold the duel, neither being injured.

1864 – Death of Nicholas Callan, an Irish priest and scientist from Darver, Co. Louth. He was Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College from 1834, and is best known for his work on the induction coil.

1871 – Alexander Sullivan, barrister and last King’s Serjeant of Ireland, is born in Dublin.

1922 – In County Tyrone, members of Monaghan GAA were arrested on their way to Derry. Among them were IRA volunteers, who carried plans to free IRA prisoners from Derry prison.

1922 – Provisional Government set up by pro-Treaty TDs. Michael Collins is elected Chairman. This was essentially an interim government for the period between the ratifying of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the establishment of the Irish Free State. Its legitimacy was disputed by the Anti-Treaty delegates to Dáil Éireann. (The Cabinet is almost the same as that of the Irish Republic, with the exception of Éamon de Valera, Cathal Brugha and Austin Stack, who resign over the acceptance of the Treaty.)

1937 – De Valera’s new constitution, with its assertions of Ireland as a sovereign 32-county state, and its definition of Catholic morality and “women’s place” is approved.

1961 – Death of Barry Fitzgerald, an Irish stage, film and television actor.

1965 – Talks between Seán Lemass, Taoiseach, and Terence O’Neill, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, take place in Belfast.

2000 – Unemployment drops to its lowest level in 19 years.

2000 – Unionist politicians are furious after Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams claims that there could be a united Ireland by the year 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising.

2000 – Eco Warriors and the Green Party meet with members of Wicklow County Council in a last ditch attempt to get the local authority to abandon its controversial road widening scheme in the Glen of the Downs.

Photo: 1798 Memorial, Waverley Cemetery, Sydney, Australia.

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