Today in Irish History – 25th February:

1570 – Elizabeth I is excommunicated by Pope Pious V.

1852 – Death of Thomas Moore, popular poet and editor of Irish Melodies.

1891 – Edward “Ned” Daly, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, is born in Limerick.

1921 – The IRA Cork Number One Brigade led by Dan “Sandow” O’Donovan at Coolavokig, County Cork, a British Major, Grant, was killed, eight soldiers were wounded.

1921 – A British review stated that two British soldiers (excluding RIC personnel) had been killed in the preceding week, the lowest total so far for a week in 1921. The review listed ten ambushes in the preceding seven days. Seven people had been killed as spies by the IRA during the week.

1928 – Death of William O’Brien, architect of agrarian land reform.

1934 – Ireland’s first ever World Cup match takes place in Dublin. The Irish draw with Belgium 4-4.

1937 – The Imperial Airways flying boat Cambria is delivered to Shannon to begin the first trans Atlantic air service.

1947 – The worst snow blizzard in living memory hits Ireland.

1951 – Neil Jordan, writer and film director, is born.

1952 – Joey Dunlop, motorcycle racer, is born in Armoy, Co. Antrim.

1957 – Birth of Raymond Peter McCreesh (Réamann Mac Raois; 25 February 1957 – 21 May 1981), an Irish Republican hunger striker and a volunteer in the South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

1964 – Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) dethroned Sonny Liston in the Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston world heavyweight boxing title, Ali’s 20th pro boxing fight and first heavy-weight title.

1991 – Birmingham Six on verge of freedom. An announcement by the Director of Public Prosecution, Alan Green, says their convictions can no longer be considered safe and satisfactory. Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker were all jailed in 1975 for an IRA attack on two pubs in Birmingham in November 1974 in which 21 people died.

1998 – Security is stepped up in both Belfast and Derry amid fears the cities are targeted for a new wave of bombing attacks.

2000 – The faltering peace process in the North suffer a double body blow with a bomb blast at an army base in Derry and a threat by the Progressive Unionists to withdraw support for the Good Friday Agreement.

2001 – British supermarket chains draw up contingency plans to source supplies of fresh meat in Ireland if the ban on livestock transport is not lifted.

2001 – It is announced that the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, is for sale. The historic property at Carhan just outside Caherciveen, where O’Connell was born on August 6, 1775, is being put on the market by his descendants, a local family of O’Connells.

2003 – The number of Catholics worldwide has exceeded one billion for the first time, according to figures released by the Vatican.

2003 – North American Airlines and Miami Airlines, both charter troop carriers for the US military, end stopovers at Shannon because of recent security breaches.

2003 – The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell and the Northern Secretary Paul Murphy hold two hours of talks in Dublin. The talks centre on cross border co-operation and anti terrorist measures.

2003 – Death of Tom Francis O’Higgins, Jr. (Tomás Ó hUiginn; 23 July 1916 – 25 February 2003), an Irish Fine Gael politician, a barrister, and a judge.

2011 – In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil led government suffers the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.

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