Today in Irish History – 28th January:

1610 – The crown and the Irish Society of London, a consortium of city companies, agree to carry out the plantation of Derry, Coleraine and part of Tyrone.

1635 – The City of London and the Irish Society of London are found guilty of mismanagement and neglect of Derry plantation; they are sentenced to a fine of £70,000 and forfeiture of Derry property.

1743 – Clotworthy Skeffington, 2nd Earl of Massereene, is born in Co. Antrim.

1786 – By charter, the Irish Academy becomes the Royal Irish Academy.

1807 – Birth in Co. Wexford of Sir Robert McClure, polar explorer and discoverer of the North-West Passage.

1818 – The Iberno-Celtic Society is founded to preserve and publish the best ancient Irish literature.

1852 – Louis Brennan, inventor, is born in Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

1877 – Birth of George Fitzmaurice, playwright; born near Listowel, Co. Kerry, the son of a clergyman, and the tenth of twelve children.

1892 – Birth in Limerick of David Mary Tidmarsh , WWI Ace.

1873 – Patrick Malley is killed by his son William Malley at Calla, a remote district of Errismore Co. Galway. J.M. Synge based his story The Playboy Of The Western World on the tragedy.

1877 – George Fitzmaurice, Irish Renaissance playwright, is born.

1921 – British troops in county Cork were tipped off by a local Loyalist named Mrs Lindsay about an IRA ambush at Macroom-Cork road. Two IRA volunteers were killed and five captured by British soldiers. The five IRA prisoners were later executed under martial law. The local IRA executed Lindsay and her chauffeur James Clarke in reprisal.

1922 – Ballinamore Free State barracks, Leitrim, is attacked and taken by republicans. They take 35 FS soldiers prisoner, who they take with them back to the Arigna mountains. The barracks itself and the train station are destroyed with explosives.

1935 – Laurence White Jr. is born in Brooklyn New York, USA.

1939 – Death of William Butler Yeats.

1941 – The Emergency Powers Act provides for the censorship of press messages to places outside the Free State.

1941 – Birth of Fublin artist, George Potter.

1967 – Helena Moloney, republican and trade unionist, dies in Dublin.

1979 – Death of Eileen Shanahan, one of the small number of Irish women poets. Her best-known poem, The Three Children (Near Clonmel), was included in the Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958).

1981 – Daniel O’Donnell makes his first professional appearance, at a club in Thurles as part of his sister Margo’s band.

1993 – The IRA bombs Harrods for the third time in 20 years. Four people are injured.

1999 – Markey Robinson (born in Belfast) was a prolific Irish artist with a distinctive naïve expressionist style. His main passion was painting, but he also produced sculptures, and designed some stained glass panels.

2000 – Death of well known Irish actor, Tony Doyle, star of popular programmes such as Ballykissangel and The Riordans.

2000 – Nobel Peace laureate, John Hume, issues a plea to the IRA for a last minute gesture on decommissioning to ensure the Northern Ireland peace process does not founder.

2001 – Mighty Munster moves a step closer to Heineken European Cup rugby glory when they defeat Biarritz 38 29 in the quarter final Photo credit: Des Barry.

2002 – Winds of up to 90mph leave 3,000 homes in the west and north-west without power supply for several hours.

2003 – It is announced that actor Peter O’Toole, nominated seven times for an Oscar for his work in films as diverse as the historical epic Lawrence of Arabia and the nostalgic comedy My Favourite Year, will receive an honorary Academy Award at this year’s Oscar ceremonies.

2007 – At a special Ard Fheis, held in the RDS in Dublin, Sinn Féin voted to end its 86-year-old boycott of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). Speaking moments after the vote is taken, party President Gerry Adams describes the decision as “truly historic” and says the potential had been created to change the political landscape of the island “forever.”

2011 – Taoiseach Brian Cowen announces he will seek to dissolve the Dáil next Tuesday at which time he will also announce the date of a General Election.


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