Today in Irish History – 28th March:

1646 – Peace between the confederates and James Butler, the Marquis of Ormond and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, leads to a split within the confederation, i.e. between confederates and royalists.

1719 – John Cairnes, son of David Cairnes, former MP for the city of Derry, is killed in a duel in Newcastle, England.

1772 – An Act to repress Steelboy disturbances in five Ulster counties is passed.

1820 – Sir William Howard Russell, war correspondent, is born in Tallaght, Co. Dublin.

1874 – Joseph McGarrity, Irish patriot, is born in Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone.

1879 – Terence MacSwiney, Irish patriot and Lord Mayor of Cork, is born.

1881 – Birth of Martin Sheridan, “the world’s greatest athlete”, in Bohola, Co. Mayo. Although largely unpublicised, Sheridan’s achievements in field athletics undoubtedly put him amongst the greats: in three successive Olympics he wins 5 gold medals, 3 silver and 1 bronze, and sets.

1892 – Birth of Tom Maguire, an Irish republican who held the rank of commandant-general in the Western Command of the Irish Republican Army and led the South Mayo flying column.

1922 – Moving closer to a vicious Civil War. The IRA Executive issue a statement stating that the Minister of Defence and the Chief-of-Staff (both of whom supported the Treaty) no longer exercise control over the IRA.

1922 – IRA volunteers seized the RIC barracks in Belcoo, County Fermanagh after a three hour gun battle. Fifteen policemen were taken prisoner and marched across the border to be held until 18 July.

1923 – Five Republicans who were captured in the Anti-Treaty IRA’s 5 March attack on Cahersiveen, Kerry are executed by firing squad.

1944 – Birth of Nell McCafferty, journalist and feminist, in Derry.

1955 – John Alderdice, Alliance Party leader, is born in Ballymena.

1957 – Death of Patrick “Jack” B. Yeats, Ireland’s leading painter of the 20th century.

1970 – Easter rising commemorations lead to rioting and the first fighting between the British army and Provisional IRA.

2000 – Wildcat action by certain SIPTU rail workers in support of their National Bus and Rail Union colleagues quickly exacerbates the dispute; as the strike appears to worsen, commuters can expect another day of chaos in getting to work. On a lighter note, sales of bicycles in Dublin have soared.

2001 – The Government expresses serious concern about another potential outbreak of suspected foot and mouth in Co Louth.

2003 – A Dublin woman pays 8,500 euros for two tickets for Ireland’s Grand Slam showdown with England. With interest in the game at fever pitch, Ann Higgins secures her seats for one of the biggest games of the year during a charity auction on the Marian Finucane Show.

2006 – Death of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney, a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), County Donegal. He was known for his distinguished fiddle playing and his unique and vast contribution to Irish music and culture.

Photo: The Grianán of Aileach is an Iron Age stone fort overlooking Lough Swilly. The site is believed to be a historical centre of culture and politics during the rule of early Irish chieftains (c. 800 BC – 1200 AD). An Irish creation myth suggests that the fortress was built by the great king Daghda of Tuatha de Danann. It is believed that the summit may have been occupied as far back as Neolithic times as there is evidence of an ancient tumulus near the fort. This photograph was taken from the walls of the fort looking west into Donegal.

Photo credit: © Andy McInroy

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.