1850 – Edward J. Smith, captain of the Titanic is born.
1885 – Charles Stewart Parnell turns the first sod for the West Clare Railway.
1923 – Two Republican prisoners are executed in Portlaoise. The two are Joseph Byrne and Patrick Geraghty, commanders of the IRA Offally Brigade. The executions, ‘terrorised’ the Offaly Anti-Treatyites, who had killed 5 Free State troops up to that point, but killed only 2 after. A total of 22 people are killed in Offaly during the conflict. 8 Free State troops, 11 republicans and 3 civilians.
1944 – Birth of Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, founder of NI Peace Movement.
1975 – Mother Mary Martin, founder of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, dies in Drogheda.
1999 – The peace process and the IRA ceasefire are thrown into chaos following the mysterious death of ex-Provo killer turned supergrass Eamon Collins.
2000 – Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams indicates that the IRA will not deliver arms ahead of the Ulster Unionists’ February deadline.
Photo: St.Finbarrs Cathedral,Cork City – Photography by Conal Thomson