Today in Irish History – 22nd March:

Feast Day of Saint Darerca of Ireland, sister of Saint Patrick.

1686 – With the return of a Catholic monarchy – James II – payments to the Catholic hierarchy are authorized; Catholics are appointed to government positions; replacement of Protestant by Catholic soldiers intensifies.

1768 – Melasina Trench, writer, is born in Dublin.

1829 – Sir Richard Sankey, soldier and engineer, is born in Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

1841 – The Irish Emigrant Society is founded in New York.

1848 – Birth of artist Sarah Purser in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

1912 – Birth of actor Wilfrid Brambell in Dublin.

1921 – Three members of the West Mayo IRA flying column attacked a four man RIC patrol at Clady. Three policemen were wounded and one was killed.

1921 – IRA volunteers in Fermanagh burned the homes and farms of ten local men who were members of the Ulster Special Constabulary. Two Special Constables were shot dead in their beds.

1923 – A fire fight takes place at Windgap on the Kilkenny Tipperary border between an IRA column and NA troops from Kilkenny sweeping the area. One NA soldier Vol. Brown is killed and press reports three ‘Irregulars’ also killed.

1929 – Sixty-six horses run in Irish Grand National Sweepstakes; Alike wins the race.

1969 – At a time when nationalist emotion was high in Ireland, Sean Dunphy topped the Irish charts with The Lonely Woods of Upton.

1979 – Two members of the IRA assassinate Sir Richard Sykes, British ambassador to the Netherlands, outside his residence at The Hague.

1983 – Belfast-born and Dublin-educated Chaim Herzog is elected president of Israel.

1998 – Unionist leaders launch a fresh bid to have Republicans excluded permanently from peace negotiations.

1998 – Sonia O’Sullivan wins her second gold medal at the World Cross-Country Championships.

2000 – Over 2,000 student nurses walk out of hospital wards and lecture halls in a protest over tuition fees.

2001 – The Government declares a national emergency in a bid to contain the country’s first foot and mouth outbreak in 60 years.

2002 – At the Four Courts, the conviction of Paul Ward for the murder of Veronica Guerin, is quashed.

Photo: The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

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